Insomnia occurs when one has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, feels unrested when rising in the am, feels tired throughout the day, has more frequent errors or accidents, or thinks about sleep issues throughout the day. Sleeplessness can cause irritability, frustration, anxiety, and depression.
My first thoughts when it comes to sleeplessness are – you have too many commitments in your life, you have too many responsibilities in your life, and/or there are troubling/traumatic circumstances in your life that you are having difficulty resolving or putting into perspective. If any of these resonate with you, then the first step is to acknowledge that things need to change. I suggest you write down all the troubling areas, and determine whether they are actually your problems or if you are taking on someone else’s struggles. We all seem to have enough of our own; I suggest you focus on you, and create better boundaries for yourself. If you are experiencing a troubling or traumatic situation that appears beyond your control, seek help from friends or, if necessary, professionals.
There are also several other reasons why you could not be getting a good night’s rest:
- Internal organ disruption
- Too much electronic screen time
- Overeating at night or poor food choices at night
- Poor sleeping arrangements or uncomfortable bed
- Alcohol or caffeine before bed
- Medical conditions
- Mental health conditions – See “Products We Love” to help with stress.
- Hormonal changes due to age, stress, and/or genetics
- Pain – You need to find the underlying cause of the pain and this should be treated also. See “Products We Love” to help with pain.
- Shift work or jet lag
Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet, water consumption, and exercise.
Ways to improve your sleep:
- Establish your limits and boundaries and begin to create time for you throughout the day.
- Say “no” to others when doing otherwise is detrimental to your health/sleep.
- Check your medications and see if there are any side effects causing your sleeplessness.
- Eat as healthfully as you can, including lots of vegetables, fruit and water.
- Make your bedroom as quiet, comfortable and relaxing as possible.
- Avoid screen time when trying to fall asleep – no phones, tv’s, electronic games or electronic devices. Try to read a book – perhaps you only read ½ a page and fall asleep; well, perfect.
- Stay active and get some exercise daily. Moving circulates your blood and helps your body detox and work more optimally.
- Keep your nighttime routine as consistent as possible. Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Avoid taking naps throughout the day unless absolutely necessary for safety reasons.
Evening “Wind Down”
A peaceful routine at night is important to start you on the road to improved rest; this road starts with you. Perhaps you could create a new routine for your family in which one hour before the earliest bedtime, all electronics are turned off, only quiet reading and relaxing for the whole family. This would be a good time to listen to others and try to learn something new about them, but more importantly, about yourself. Are you impatient while others are speaking? Are you not interested in what they are saying? Are you already giving a response and not even listening to them? If you practice really listening, you will find that it is difficult to do so while you are talking. Try to take some deep breaths, relax, and be more focused and in the moment. If you have a busy life and keep thinking of things you need to do, have a piece of paper and jot notes to remember, and then get back to being in the moment. During this time, I recommend some warm tea or warm water. The warming beverage will begin to relax your body. Keep in mind, if you’re constantly worrying about the past, this would be considered depression; worrying about the future is associated with anxiety, and when you really think about it, the only thing that is real is right here, right now, in this moment.
Supplements Can Help
These supplements will help to calm your nerves and restore balance in temporary mood swings, ease the effects of occasional mild stress, and provide relief from occasional sleeplessness.